The WordPress code base — often referred to simply as Core, and what one installs to set up a new WordPress site — is free software that’s written and maintained by hundreds of volunteers from all over the world.
Unsponsored, or Self-sponsored, Contributors
These are individuals who donate their personal time, often 2-10 hours a month, to help grow the WordPress project. The unique perspectives and creativity they contribute is vital. On the Community team, these people are often mentors and event organizers. We wouldn’t have been able to share the benefits of WordPress to so many countries around the world without them.
There are companies, like Automattic, 10up, Bluehost, GoDaddy, Weglot, and others who pay employees to use some of or all of their work time building and maintaining WordPress core, developing training resources, supporting community event organizers, and more.
These sponsored contributors help maintain a stable work force that every project needs. Their contribution is not greater or less than any other contributor. They simply have more consistent time that they can devote to the growth of the project.
It’s important to note that while some people are paid to work on WordPress, no one is paid by WordPress.
The WordPress Foundation and WordPress Community Support, PBC
The WordPress Foundation is a non-profit that has no employees. It’s primary purpose is to hold the WordPress trademark.
WordPress Community Support, PBC (WPCS) a corporate subsidiary owned by the WordPress Foundation. WPCS supports official WordPress community programs by serving as the legal and financial entity behind WordCamps, meetups, and other events. It also does not have any employees.
WordPress Events and Organizers
WordPress community events are informal, volunteer-organized events that are put together by WordPress community members like you and focus on WordPress. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other.
WordPress community organizing is performed just like all other aspects of the WordPress open source project — using the same open source methods and values, and using many of the same tools as open source software development.
Communities are vital to the longevity of open source and building a WordPress community is a contribution to the WordPress open source project, just like a contribution of code.